When you read the title of this article, are you thinking…..
“Reward – what’s that?” or
“Reward – when would I fit that in?” or
“I’ve got more important things to worry about than to think about rewards!”
Being constantly weighed down by the day-to-day grind sometimes means that the last thing we think about is rewarding ourselves. If you can relate to this, now is the time to pause for just a few minutes. Consider yourself a bank account where different activities and experiences will have a different impact on your “balance”. For most people, the daily “must-dos” have the effect of “debiting” your account and if your account hasn’t been topped up for a while, you can imagine how difficult the daily grind is going to get when you start going into “overdraft”. Quite simply, not sustainable.
Rewarding yourself isn’t quite the same as a “time out” unless your version of a “time out” includes putting “credits” into your account. For most of us, a “time out” only happens because we reach the end of our tether and is really only a band-aid to whatever brought us to that point. So, the time-out pauses the “debits” but what are we doing to increase the account? This is where rewards are different from time-outs. Rewards should “credit” your bank account.
Ideally, choose a reward that has a lasting impact – one that taps into your passions so that it continues to give you “credits” even after the event is over, much like an investment that continues to pay interest. Use your rewards wisely – link them to your goals and action plan, much like a parent rewards a child for completed tasks. If you do this consistently and meaningfully, you will find yourself more energised, more empowered to tackle your daily grind and most importantly, you’ll be a few steps further towards achieving your goals.
One last tip on rewards……When you do earn your reward, enjoy it fully and completely. Don’t fall into the guilt-trap of thinking about all the other things you should be doing with your time. This would just negate all the benefit and put you right back at square one!